The One I Almost Scrapped - The Circus Quilt

Wow. It's been so long since I've shared a new quilt! I promise I'm still quilting, I've just been spending a lot of time with my longarm lately. A friend of mine has started writing quilt patterns, so I did some quilting for her - if you're at Market this fall you may just see some of it! Be sure to check out Sew Many Creations - she's got great bag and quilt patterns! And if you're in the Adirondacks and/or Capitol Region of NY, check out her quilt shop!

So, about that new quilt! This quilt taught me a great lesson about my work - more specifically, to keep an open mind and reserve judgement even when it comes to my own projects.

Diamonds for Ducklings Baby Quilt

I began this quilt as a baby gift for a friend. I had saved these Lizzy House prints for a long time, but suddenly I felt that this was the project for them! I had a few design ideas involving small triangles with borders, but really I set about creating the triangle units without a firm plan for them. Once I had all of the triangles pieced, I played with layout. My initial design idea wasn't playing out quite right when I got the idea to create diamonds. This idea came to me as I was thinking about the name of the fabric line, "Ugly Duckling". I wanted to play around with the name when I thought of the phrase, "diamond in the rough" - Bingo!

After I had the diamond layout I chose the light orange solid. I love the orange, which I had used in another project. However, as I pieced the orange with the diamonds I started to question it. Something about the quilt reminded me of the circus, which I mentioned to a friend during a late-night sewing session. She innocently commented that the orange reminded her of circus peanuts, which started to worry me even more! I thought about taking the quilt apart and using a different solid, but in the end pure laziness won out. I decided to continue with the quilt as it was, but if I didn't like the finished product I would make something different for my friend.

The best part about using solids in quilts is having that area to show off some quilting! Using a light peach thread I quilted smaller diamonds in the solid sections; each quilted diamond area was filled with pebbles and the surrounding area was filled with swirls. Even after the quilting, I still had my reservations. But I charged forward and added the binding, and then tossed the quilt in the wash.

Diamonds for Ducklings Baby Quilt

I was completely shocked when I saw the freshly washed quilt. Everything about it suddenly fell into place - the quilting was soft and crinkly, the colors flowed beautifully. Something truly magical occurs in the washing and drying process!

Diamonds for Ducklings Baby Quilt

Here's a peek at the back. I love using my stash for quilt backings!

Diamonds for Ducklings Baby Quilt

I'm so glad now that I didn't give up on this project. I shipped it off to my friend a few weeks ago and she absolutely loved it! She's a quilter as well, and has a great eye for color and design, so I was a bit worried about her reaction. In the end, the very part of the quilt that I questioned the most - the orange solid - was my friend's favorite part! Call it a happy accident or a learning experience, I'm calling it a win!

Diamonds for Ducklings Baby Quilt

P.S. I'm officially naming this one, "Diamonds for Ducklings", but I will always remember it as, "The Circus Quilt"!

Dresden Sparkles

As you can tell from the pictures below, I made this quilt a few months ago. I intended to give it to my brother's girlfriend, Caroline, for Christmas, but I ran out of time. I had to set it aside and I finished it up in February, I think.
Caroline loves purple, so I started by pulling out the purple colorway of 1,001 Peeps by Lizzy House. I used a pale purple for the background so that the prints and the piecing would pop. After the EZ Dresden challenge last year I had the idea to create these "sparkle" blocks. There were plenty of similar quilts in the contest, and I was really drawn to the simplicity of alternating a print with a background solid.
Dresden Sparkles Quilt
I quilted the background in a small meander and left the sparkles unquilted so that they will "pop" a bit. In hindsight, I wish that I had stitched in the ditch around each print. It's not too visible from the front, but it is from the back.
Dresden Sparkles Quilt
I really love all of the Lizzy House's work, and this line is no exception. Caroline is a sweet, fun girl, and I thought she's appreciate the whimsical tone of these prints.
Dresden Sparkles Quilt
On the back I used two different purple solids and the left over prints. The binding is an eggplant color, as that's Caroline's favorite shade of purple.
Dresden Sparkles Quilt
Caroline loves her quilt, and I was happy to cross this WIP off my list just before I headed off to QuiltCon! Last week I finished up two custom quilts and delivered them over the weekend, so I'll have a few new things to share as soon as I edit the pictures!

Constellations for my Valentine

I finished up this quilt just in time to gift it to Matt for Valentine's day! I've always been a fan of Lizzy House's designs, and I was especially excited for her Constellations line because it is her usual whimsical style with a definite "boy" feel to it.

Constellations for my Valentine

I knew that I wanted to make Matt a quilt from this fabric as soon as I saw it. To really make the fabrics sparkle, I pieced some small quarter-square triangles as the focal point. Then I offset the quarter-square triangles with some solid in a soft blue-grey (Moda Bella solid....I don't remember what color!). Next I added a thin frame in the Twinkle Twinkle print from the constellations line (black colorway), and offset the piecing a bit more with the same blue-grey solid.
(Reality check: I initially tried to skew the center piecing. Yikes! That did not go well!)

Constellations for my Valentine 

I used a bamboo blend batting for this quilt, and it is SO soft and nice to work with! It seems a tiny bit thinner than the cotton batting that I typically use, but it really gives the quilt a soft, cozy finish. (I would perhaps suggest basting a bit closer together with this batting though. I used the same batting for another quilt which included a piece of an old bedsheet for the backing, and I had a bit of shifting - not something I was expecting!)
When it came time to quilt this piece, I couldn't resist quilting dense (1/2" apart), straight lines. It took several hours, but I love the look. I think it works really well with the simple piecing and the more masculine colorway. For binding, I used some Kaffe Fassett Aboriginal Dots in charcoal. The darker binding finished the quilt off just right, I think!

Constellations for my Valentine 

On the back I used some Kona solid in iron and the Twinkle Twinkle print in black.
(Finished size is 60" x 80".)

Constellations for my Valentine

Matt seems quite pleased to have his own quilt (this is only the second quilt I've ever made just for him!), and I'm quite happy to keep this one around!
Now I'm off to finish up a bit of last minute packing. Tomorrow I'm traveling to Austin for QuiltCon! If you're attending, be sure to introduce yourself!

Constellations for my Valentine

Purple and Grey Goodness!

Last year I made this mini quilt for my coffee table. We've been using it ever since then, and I really like it. It adds a bit of color to the room and it's a great coaster/table mat! Unfortunately that means that it will get dirty...and get dirty it did. I tossed the mini quilt into the wash a few weeks ago and was quite disappointed to see that it shrunk up about 1" in both directions! It still "worked", but I was unhappy that a once perfected-fitted mini was now an odd-ball size. (The center of our coffee table/ottoman has a wooden table area with a lip around it, as seen below. I made the mini to fit exactly within this area...until recently!)
9-Patch Mini
So I made a new mini! This time I made it about 1" larger in either direction and washed it as soon as I was finished binding it. It's a tiny bit big in the width, but I'm happy with it!
Purple and Grey Goodness!
I used big chunks of some of my favorite prints, and each log is quilted in a different style from Angela Walter's book. It was a fun way to play around with different quilting styles, and I just love how it turned out!
Purple and Grey Goodness!
Purple and Grey Goodness!
Purple and Grey Goodness!
Purple and Grey Goodness!
On the back I used a large piece of a print from Anna Maria Horner's Innocent Crush line and a bit of bikes by Erin McMorris (this is one of my all time favorite prints!).
Purple and Grey Goodness - back
Although there isn't a ton of the orangey-coral color in the mini, I had to use the peach bikes for binding. I love that it's such a soft color and just flows with the rest of the mini quilt!
Here's a shot of the shrunken mini stacked on top of the new mini. That's quite a bit of shrinkage for such a small quilt! (Finished size of Purple and Grey Goodness is approximately 14.75" x 20.75".)
9-Patch Mini
And here's the Purple and Grey Goodness being put to use!
Purple and Grey Goodness!
I'm digging the change from the brightly colored 9-patch mini to the more subtle hues of this mini (plus it goes swimmingly with our lavender couch!). Although I will find a home for my 9-patch mini somewhere else, I'm sure!
You know it's a win when you want to just sit and stare at your finished project! I just wish I had yardage of all of these prints to make a larger quilt now!

Birthday gifts for the C family!

I'm finally back from Illinois, and I have so much to share! I'm hoping to post about my sister's wedding shower in a few days, I'm so happy with everything came together for it. But for today I'd like to share a few birthday gifts that I made for a friend's children.
One of my childhood friends has 3 kids (ages 5, 3, and 1), all with summer birthdays. She had an amazing birthday party for the kids while I was visiting, so I made a few gifts to bring along. She requested no gifts, but I couldn't help myself!
For the 5 year old and 3 year old I made a fort kit to share (this idea was on her pinterest board, so I took that as permission to break the "no gifts" rule!):
Fort Kit
And for each of them I made a small zip pouch filled with glow sticks and a flashlight, perfect for using in their fort!
Fort Kit zip pouch

Fort Kit zip pouch
For the baby I made a Halloween outfit (child #3 deserves a cute holiday outfit that's not a hand-me-down, right?!):
Halloween Outfit
For the Halloween outfit I added a few raw edge squares to the front of a store-bought t-shirt:
Halloween t-shirt
And I made a simple elastic waist skirt with a ruffle trim:
Halloween Skirt
I love this fabric combination so much that I created an identical skirt for Addy, and I may order more fabric so that I can make myself a pair of pj pants!
Halloween Skirt
Fabrics for the fort kit:
1,001 Peeps by Lizzy House
Fabrics for the Halloween skirts:
Guising by Lizzy House